Capital of the Thua Thien province in central Vietnam, the city of Hue sits peacefully along the banks of the Song Huong River, also known as the Perfume River, located almost exactly halfway between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. An area of strategic military and ancient significance, the city has a robust community devoted to dance, theatre and the arts.
Hue is home to the first citadel and imperial city of modern Vietnam, built by Gia Long in 1803 atop a former royal site. Ruins from this period still stand, with many of the pagodas, tombs and palaces now designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The promenades are often filled with local artists and street-vendors, with visitors ambling along, soaking up the vibe and enjoying the aromas of sweet delicacies being cooked in the open air.
Nearby is the US Khe Sanh Marine Base, Vinh Moc Tunnels and the demilitarized zone from the Vietnamese-American war era, with its invisible line of demarcation that separated North and South Vietnam before reunification in 1975.